Itzel Velazquez is not only a student leader, serving as a leader of the Latino Student Association and as a member of the President's Leadership Fellows, but also a local community leader. Itzel has been instrumental in bringing resources to the local Latinx community through a Spanish-language college fair, the creation of new scholarships, and the creation of a local LULAC chapter and immigrant resource center. As a political science and international studies major, Itzel has focused her time as a university student on equipping herself with the academic knowledge and skills necessary to participate in the ongoing social change that she cares about, and she has put those skills to work on campus and in her community to meet previously unmet needs for a growing population, both at our university and throughout the nation.
I have a life-long commitment to addressing issues of education, civic engagement, and immigration, specifically because of my own personal experiences. My love for volunteerism was instilled in me at a young age by my parents, but it was not until college that I honed in on how I would translate that to meaningful action. My willingness to take initiative, learn, and mentor younger students is important in the work I do for the Latinx community. On campus, I have served as Vice-President of the Latino Student Association and the SGA Diversity Committee, helping to create spaces for students to feel welcome and sharing our culture among the student body. Understanding first-hand the limitations that first generation, low-income Latinx students face in pursuing a college education, I founded and serve as president of LULAC Council #773. Through this non-profit, I am able to help underprivileged students attain a higher education by providing scholarships and resources. Furthermore, as a member of Arkansas United (AU), I advocate on a state level to impact the national immigrant rights movement. I am a founding member and volunteer at the AU Immigrant Resource Center in Conway.